The developers of Brazil’s Lagoa Dos Ventos wind farm, Enel Américas, deployed cutting edge technology: sensors to protect workers and drones to map the landscape. The 230-turbine wind farm — South America’s largest — opened in June 2021, bringing renewable energy to millions of people and creating jobs.
Enel also created a Local Labor Qualification Program for local workers, including an electrician training course for women.
The wind farm is one of several testing the Blue Dot Network’s assessment framework, a program that seeks to drive investment toward quality infrastructure projects, particularly in emerging markets with significant infrastructure needs.
Billions of people worldwide still lack access to basic infrastructure, from roads and reliable power to clean water. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates an additional $3 trillion in annual infrastructure investment is necessary to drive global post-pandemic economic recovery while meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Yet many infrastructure projects fail to deliver. “We have to do more to make sure that infrastructure is done right,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the OECD’s October 2021 ministerial meeting in Paris. “Too often infrastructure is not built with sustainability, resilience or climate in mind. It’s not held to the highest standard, so it’s less safe and less durable.” Ensuring quality infrastructure is the goal of the Blue Dot Network’s certification process.
In 2019, the United States, Australia and Japan announced the Blue Dot Network to make infrastructure development more affordable, sustainable and reliable. The OECD is designing the certification program to create a globally recognized symbol that identifies quality projects that benefit communities and reward investment.
The Blue Dot symbol of quality would draw investment toward infrastructure projects that follow best practices for financing and development, engage communities and create local jobs. Certification is voluntary and open to countries and developers that meet high standards of quality, transparency and sustainability.
Working with the Blue Dot Network helps provide a road map for developers to navigate and comply with standards, saving time and money.
Blue Dot certification signals to investors and governments that a project is high quality and worthy of private-sector investment or public support. Those incentives for quality development will lead to better projects that require less maintenance over the long term.
“Promoting quality infrastructure globally should be a top priority to achieve environmentally, socially and economically sustainable economies.” — Maurizio Bezzeccheri, CEO Enel AmÉricas
The Lagoa Dos Ventos wind farm is one of several projects serving as pilots for Blue Dot certification to ensure the framework is efficient and applicable worldwide. Other pilot projects include Istanbul’s Eurasia Tunnel, a green data center from Microsoft expanding digital access in Indonesia and a water supply and treatment plant managed by Aegea that provides clean water for millions of people in Brazil.
Enel Américas CEO Maurizio Bezzeccheri told ShareAmerica that the company’s participation in Blue Dot and support from the OECD helped Enel test processes and build Lagoa Dos Ventos to meet leading industry standards. “Promoting quality infrastructure globally should be a top priority to achieve environmentally, socially and economically sustainable economies,” he said.
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